The cannabis industry could potentially be vulnerable to medical claims related to ergonomics issues, due to the vague federal standards surrounding the crop. However, according to a recent article on RiskAndInsurance.com, responsible cannabis business owners could help drive the industry forward.
The article specifically covers California ergonomics standards:
“While the familiar OSHA General Duty Clause effectively addresses ergonomic risks generally and OSHA guidance states that, ‘even if there are no guidelines specific to your industry, as an employer you still have an obligation under the General Duty Clause, Section 5(a)(1) to keep your workplace free from recognized serious hazards, including ergonomic hazards,’ the California Ergonomics Standard will likely become the cannabis industry standard given that California outstrips any other part of the nation in terms of cannabis production.”
The article cites pruning and trimming as two cannabis-specific practices that workers, due to what has become a year-round production cycle, might be tested.
The risk for ergonomic claims is borne out by a 2019 Pinnacol Assurance study derived from data supplied by Colorado’s cannabis industry, according to the article. Though the sample size was small, the number one cause of injury was sprain, followed by cuts and slip-and-fall accidents.
Pinnacol’s Director of Safety Services, Jim McMillen, noted in a press release that, “As the cannabis industry continues to mature in Colorado, we see companies increasingly adding safety managers and focusing on basic ergonomic materials handling.”
Lear more in the complete article here.
The Role and Vulnerabilities of Ergonomics in Cannabis Production